Monday, 18 July 2011

Charleston - An Artists Home

I had to share my visit to Charleston with you, I had such a lovely time at this wonderful open house and garden. Unfortunately you are unable to photograph inside the house, due to the damage that could be caused to the painted furniture and walls over time, but if you are ever in the area it is a must, the tour of the house is wonderful, the guides are so knowledgable about the history of the house and it's occupants, and the rooms and their painted furniture, art and pottery are stunning. My favourite room is the Art Studio, it is such an amazing space littered with so much history from the period, I was overwhelmed when I entered this room.Once you step outside the house, the garden too is stunning, and this I am able to show you!! It is abundant with glorious colour, there are whimsical cottage plants and flowers at every turn, it is a glorious explosion of colour and fragrance to tantilise all your senses.
The history of the house and it's occupants is so interesting, Charleston was the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. In October 1916, Charleston House was occupied by Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Wolf), she was accompanied by her sons Quentin and Julian, a maid, cook and nurse plus Duncan Grant and his lover at the time, David Garnett.
As both Vanessa and Duncan were Artists, the inside of the house was transformed with their paintings, not just on the walls but painted furniture, doors, baths and fireplaces and if you visit the house these wonderful creations are still there in all their glory to be admired today.
Duncan and Vanessa entertained many friends at Charleston from the art, literary and political worlds, and as such Charleston House became a base for the famous Bloomsbury Group.
To find out more about the house and details on visiting times etc.. please go to http://www.charleston.org.uk/
On site there is also a wonderful shop packed with fantastic books, and pottery depicting the Bloomsbury style. There are also pieces from local Artists and Makers.
Charleston also has Exhibitions running on occassion and when we visited there were works on display from the wonderful Kaffe Fassett.
I found the whole day so inspiring, I loved the nostalgia of the place, it had a wonderful feel to it.
Just look how glorious these blooms are!
I am so lucky that this beautiful house and garden is just up the road from my home, so I can visit as often as I want to. It would be lovely to see it in the different seasons, so I think I'll pop along again in October to see it in all it's Autumn glory!

2 comments:

Paula said...

Oh, to have such a garden! Thank you for sharing. Makes me want to go home and weed my own, which has been sadly neglected due to the overbearing heat! You know, the only things that grows well in this heat are those pesky weeds! So nice to visit a garden well done.

Mary - Vintage Cottage said...

Hi Amanda, wasn't it a lovely day! You've really captured the spirit of the place with these glorious photos. Love, Mary